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1. Taxation Regulation and Tax Incentives

The taxes governing foreign-invested enterprises include: Enterprise Income Tax; Local Income Tax; Value-Added Tax (VAT); Consumer Tax; Business Tax; Individual Income Tax; Urban Real Estate Tax; Vehicle and Vessel License Tax and Stamp Tax.

a) Enterprise Income Tax and Preferential Treatment

Foreign-invested enterprises and foreign enterprises in China are governed by the "Income Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China for Enterprises with Foreign Investment and Foreign Enterprises."

The reduced enterprise income tax rate for Sino-foreign joint ventures engaged in port and wharf construction is 15%. The enterprise income tax rate for Sino-foreign joint ventures whose operating life will be 15 years and more, upon receiving approval from tax authorities in the province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the control of the central government that they are located in, will be exempt from enterprise income tax for five years from the first profit-making year. These enterprises will also be granted a 50% reduction in enterprise income tax commencing from the sixth year until the tenth year (with tax rate not less than 10%).

b) Local Income Tax and Tax Exemptions

Local income tax for foreign-invested enterprises and foreign enterprises is 3% of assessed income.

During the two-year period of tax exemption and the three-year period of reduced tax as granted by the central government regulations, exporting enterprises and technologically advanced enterprises with foreign investment are exempt from local enterprise income tax. Local income tax will be exempt after the above-mentioned five-year exemption period if more than 50 % of the output of an enterprise is exported the same year. Technologically advanced enterprises will continue to receive exemption from local tax for a period of three years after the above-mentioned five-year exemption period. Local income tax will be exempt if a foreign-invested enterprise in production is established and operated in an established Economic & Technological Development Zone under the approval of the Jiangsu Province.

c) Tax Rebates for Enterprise Profits Reinvested in China

(i) Foreign investors who reinvest their profits in China in a business period of not less than 5 years will obtain a 40% rebate on income tax.

(ii) Foreign investors who reinvest profits to establish or expand an export-oriented or high technology enterprise within a period of not less than 5 years, will obtain a full rebate on income tax paid on the amount reinvested.

In the event of an enterprise of the above-mentioned nature withdrawing before it has been in operation for five years, all tax rebates must be returned to the relevant tax authorities.

d) No Tax on Repatriated Profit

For foreign investors who have received a share of profits after tax, or profits exempt from tax, from foreign-invested enterprises and who repatriate the profits abroad, no tax shall be paid on the repatriated profits.

e) VAT, Consumption Tax, and Business lax

Foreign invested enterprises and foreign enterprises are governed by the interim provisions of the PRC on Value Added Tax, Business Tax, and Consumption Tax from January 1994. The former Industrial and Commercial Consolidated Tax is no longer in effect.

f) Individual Income Tax, Reduced Tax and Tax Exemptions

(i) Income from wages and salaries in excess of specified amounts will be subject to a progressive income tax, the rate of which ranges from 5 to 45 %.

Income derived from provision of personal services, royalties, dividends, the leasing of property and other kinds of income will be subject to a net rate of tax of 20 %.

(ii) The amount of each category of tax shall be calculated as follows:

  • for income from wages and salaries, tax shall be paid on the monthly income remained, after deducting 800 yuan per month.

  • for income derived from the provision of personal services, royalties, or from the leasing of property, where the amount received does not exceed 4,000 yuan each time, expenses of 800 yuan can be deducted of income before tax is paid. Where the amount of income received exceeds 4,000 yuan an amount equivalent to 20% can be deducted for expenses. The remaining amount shall be taxed.

    Income derived from interest, share dividends, bonus dividends and other sources will be taxed on the amount received for each payment.

    (iii) The scope of tax exemptions or tax reduction. For foreigners working in foreign-invested enterprises and foreign enterprises, resident representatives of other economic organizations, or foreigners working in various Chinese institutions, the tax-free portion to be deducted from income for the individual income tax is 4000 yuan/month. For those live in China for less than 5 years, income obtained from outside China will not be subject to individual income tax.

    g) Pre-taken Income Tax

    Where foreign enterprises have not set up an office or other form of establishment in China but have income derived from within China from profits, interest, share dividends, rental income, royalties or other sources, or where even though they have an office or some other form of establishment in China but the income derived from within China from the above-mentioned sources not related to the activities of that office or establishment above-mentioned income will be subject to income tax at a rate of 20%.

    Where royalties have been received for patented technology provided for the purposes of carrying out scientific research, the development of energy resources, the development of transport and communications, the development of agricultural, forestry or animal husbandry products, or for the development of important technology, after permission has been received from the relevant tax authorities, those royalties received will be subject to income tax at a rate of 10%. In cases where the technology concerned is advanced or preferential conditions exist, exemption from income tax may be granted.

    Where a taxation agreement exists between China and a foreign country, tax rate on income derived from share dividends, interest or royalties will generally be between 10% to 15%. The tax rate on income derived from rental of property will range from 6 % to 10 %.

    h) Urban Real Estate Tax

    Urban real estate tax is to be paid by the owner of the property. Where a property has been mortgaged, the tax will be paid by the mortgagee.

    The taxable value of property owned by an enterprise is to be calculated on the amount remained after a 30% deduction from the original book value of the property. The annual tax rate is 1.2 %.

    i) Vehicle and Vessel License Tax

    The amount of annual license tax on passenger vehicles will vary from 180 yuan to 300 yuan per vehicle. The amount of annual license tax for trucks is 60 yuan per net tonnage. Tax on motorized boats shall be collected by customs on the basis of tonnage. Motorized boats are exempt from license tax.

    j) Stamp Tax

    A small amount of stamp tax will be paid on economic and technological contracts or various documentation produced in economic activities with the rate ranging from 0.1% to 0.005%.

    2. Personnel Management

    a) Recruitment

    The recruitment of staff and workers needed by a foreign-invested enterprise can be made openly in local labor markets.

    b) Labor Contract

    Labor Contracts should be signed between the foreign-invested enterprise and individuals concerned to identify the rights and obligations for both sides.

    Enterprises shall not dismiss staff workers who are under medical treatment for work related injuries or occupational diseases, or who are receiving treatment in hospital or non-work related injuries, or female staff who are pregnant, on maternity leave or who are on leave to nurse their new-born children.

    A foreign-invested enterprise may dismiss staff and workers who, within the employment contract period, become superfluous as a result of significant changes in production or technological conditions, or dismiss staff and workers in accordance with regulations set out in the employment contract. However, workers and staff to be dismissed must be given one month’s notification of dismissal. Staff and workers who have been dismissed by a foreign-invested enterprise, as well as those whose contracts have expired, should be given compensation calculated on the basis of one month's average pay for every full year served in the enterprise for the first 10 years, and 1.5 month pay for every full year commencing from the eleventh year.

    c) Salaries and Wages

    The wages and salaries of employees in foreign-invested enterprises shall be determined according to the principle of being no lower than 120% of the average wages and salaries paid to employees by the local state own enterprises in the same industry. Any decision to increase, decrease or leave salaries and wages unchanged should be made by the enterprise on the basis of its economic performance.

    Salaries for senior staff members of a foreign-invested enterprise should be decided by the board of directors and be specified in detail in the employment contract.

    d) Labor Insurance and Welfare Benefits

    Foreign-invested enterprises, in accordance with the relevant state and provincial regulations, should make payment of, or allocation of, funds for labor insurance, welfare costs and housing subsidies for Chinese employees.

    e) Labor Protection

    Foreign-invested enterprises must adopt the state and local laws and regulations regarding labor protection, and adopt the system of working hours currently run in China. However enterprises with foreign investment are free to make decision on their own to reduce work hours.

    Staff and workers in foreign-invested enterprises are entitled to legal holidays and other special holidays as determined by the state. Normal wages should be paid to employees during the above mentioned holiday and leave periods.

    Foreign-invested enterprise must carry out the state and local laws and regulations concerning labor protection, production safety, and industrial sanitation, and, under the supervision of local labor departments, improve working conditions.

    3. Administration of Land

    According to the policy of separation of the ownership and the use of land, foreign-invested enterprises may obtain the right to use land through offering, transference, lease or cession. At present, foreign investors must go through offering procedure in order to start real estate, commercial, financial, tourist or entertainment projects. Those qualified may also go through transference or lease procedures. For projects of other trades, they should, in principle, likewise go through offering, transference or lease procedures. Only with permission can they conduct paid cession procedure.

    a) a foreign-invested enterprise or would-be investor from abroad can apply to obtain the right to use land by using the original grounds of the Chinese enterprise;

    b) a foreign-invested enterprise or would-be investor from abroad can apply directly to the Land Administration Bureau of local governments for the right to use land through offering;

    c) a foreign invested enterprise or would-be investor from abroad may also obtain the right to use land from other land users through transference or lease;

    d) the right to use land can also be obtained by means of cession.

    4. Charge Rates

    a) Water and Electricity Charges

    Water and electricity required in production by foreign-invested enterprises, shall be included in supply plans established by each city, and these enterprises will be guaranteed priority in their supply. For export-oriented and technologically advanced enterprises with foreign investment, cost of water and electricity will be charged at the planning price; other foreign-invested enterprise will have their charges calculated on the same basis and be charged at the same price paid by local state-owned enterprises.

    Foreign-invested enterprises would be exempt from additional complimentary charges for water and electricity construction and capacity enlargement.

    b) Communication Facility Charges

    Fees will be charged at the same rate as local state-owned enterprises in accordance with the regulations of the local people's municipal government.

    5. Bank Loans

    Foreign-invested enterprises shall be given priority by banks where they opened their account for the provision of loans for working capitals as part of the bank's loan quota.

    Foreign-invested enterprises can. in accordance with the relevant bank regulations, apply to banks for loans under terms of mortgage of foreign currencies in their accounts as well as fixed assets.

    Foreign-invested enterprises can borrow money from abroad to meet production and operating requirements. Borrowing is to be made and repaid by the enterprises concerned.

    Guarantee of Investment

    The foreign-invested enterprise which is approved by the Chinese government to set up in Jiangsu and meets the requirements for being a legal person, after registration has, according to law, the status of a legal person.

    The legitimate rights and benefits of foreign invested enterprises including property ownership right and disposal right of foreign investors and their right to dispose of their legitimate income shall be protected by the Chinese laws.

    a) The government guarantees according to law the autonomy of enterprises in management and supports them to manage their enterprises according to international practice. The foreign-invested enterprises, by themselves, have the right to determine, within the scope of' their approved contracts and on their production and business plans, to raise and use the funds to purchase the material and sell their products.

    b) The foreign-invested enterprise based on their production and operation requirement can on their own determine the structure and size of their staff and employ or dismiss administrative personnel at all levels.

    c) The net profits distributed to the foreign investors in the foreign-invested enterprises after having fulfilled their obligations stipulated in the law, and the contract. The share of capital or other funds upon the termination or expiry of the joint venture, the after-tax salaries and other legitimate earnings of the foreign personnel in the enterprises can all be remitted abroad.

    d) The foreign-invested enterprise can insure with Jiangsu branch of the People's Insurance Company of China or other approved organizations.

    e) The proprietary technology approved in China and provided for the foreign-invested enterprise in Jiangsu by the foreign investors and registered trademark are both protected by China Patent Law and Trademark Law. When the right is being infringed upon, the injured party can ask the patent authority or the administrative authority of industry and commerce to handle the case, or bring the suit directly to the court.

    f) The disputes, raised between the parties in joint venture or cooperative venture, during the implementation of the contract (agreement), that cannot be settled through consultation of negotiation, may be settled through arbitration according to the relevant written arbitration agreement. If there is no written arbitration agreement between two parties, either party can sue at people's court for settlement.

    g) The state will not nationalize or expropriate the foreign-invested enterprises. Under extraordinary circumstances, when it is deemed necessary in public interests, the requisition would be carried out through legal procedures and reasonable compensation will be given accordingly.

    h) The government especially encourages foreign investors to set up export-oriented or technologically advanced enterprises and will give them, then, the preferential treatment with respect to taxation, credit, supply of water, electricity and gas, and telecommunication and transportation facilities.

    i) The foreign-invested enterprises may appeal to relevant government departments to solve their difficulties in the process of their investment, construction, production, management of liquidation.

    j) The rights and interests of foreign investors in China are also protected by bilateral agreements of the investor's country, such as agreements on investment insurance or investment protection, and agreements on avoiding double taxation.

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